Apple’s iPhone 6s: Your Questions Answered

26 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple under fire for factory conditions as iPhone launches.

A labour rights group marked the launch of Apple’s latest iPhone Friday with a report accusing one of the smartphone giant’s Chinese suppliers of exploiting factory workers.A cheer rose through the Georgetown Apple store at around 8:10 this morning when the first customer finished purchasing the latest iPhone — a rose gold iPhone 6S.The pope and rhythmic clapping — that’s what I’ll remember about the iPhone 6S launch at Apple’s glass cube-topped flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Hong Kong-based Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) say Lens Technology, which makes touchscreen glass, used forced overtime, withheld wages and risked workers’ health after a months-long investigation into three of its factories. When you’ll get it, however, may be another story. (Thanks, Obama Pope Francis.) When you get it, you’ll probably do the exact same thing we did when we finally got our hands on a new Rose Gold 6S: say “damn, that’s pink.” Then, you’ll poke at a couple of 3D Touch-enabled icons, and then of course, you’ll take some pictures. But that was nothing compared to the thunder that roared out when the more than one hundred iPhone fans lined up outside spotted Apple chief executive Tim Cook heading to the store nearly an hour later.

The pontiff wasn’t there — he’d driven by in his Fiat hours earlier — but his presence was felt as he sucked with him virtually all the excitement and media interest that normally attended an Apple iPhone store launch event. Company founder Zhou Qunfei, herself a former factory worker, became China’s richest woman after Lens Technology’s debut on the Shenzhen stock exchange in March. There were hundreds lined up for their new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, but there were also fewer people at one of these events than I have ever seen before. As the iPhone 6 went on sale in markets including Hong Kong, Japan and mainland China on Friday, SACOM called for Apple to “apply immediate measures to rectify exploitations in its supply chain”. We’ve only had this phone for a few hours, but here’s our first thought: Apple hasn’t exactly crushed the competition to a bloody pixelated pulp, but it’s definitely leveled up.

Gray-shirted Apple employees gathered just outside the store did their best to drum up excitement, hence the clapping, which would start low and slow and then pick up pace, invariably ending in a cheer. The allegations involve employees working for a month without a day off, wages being withheld for weeks and the company failing to pay social security. “Dust, noise, polluted water and chemical substances are common problems on the shop floor,” it added, with management “ignoring if workers were well-protected”. Around 10 protesters gathered outside one of Apple’s largest stores in Hong Kong on Friday morning, holding giant phones with the slogan “Throw Away The Bad Apple”. It will also be a big test of a new Apple program to allow customers lease their phones and upgrade when new models are available. “I study corporate law — so it’s an honor… There were gathered around, listening intently to someone, just out of view, who was giving them instructions on how to handle the crowd, which was actually waiting pretty quietly in, for the first time, two separate queues.

But the supplier denied any wrongdoing, saying overtime is not mandatory, and that it strictly limits overtime to two hours a day and workers take at least one rest day per week. “Lens Technology is a listed public company and has always complied with the laws and regulations, as well as strictly following the parameters set by our clients,” the company said in an email to AFP. “I think bad conditions happen to all brands,” said James Leung, 30, who was waiting to pick up a rose-gold phone for his wife, which he said cost him HK$5,000 ($645). I’ve studied everything about him,” Rios said about Cook, and even compared him to another recent Washington guest. “I got to be next to the Pope earlier this week by accident, so this was just icing on top of the cake,” he said. Rios said he couldn’t quite decide which meeting was more exciting. “I try not to mix business and religion, both are great.” Brian and Amy Ruddell stopped in the middle of picking out their new iPhones to get pictures with Cook. The latter was shorter, comprising people who made iPhone 6S or 6S Plus reservations in advance and arrived at, more or less, predetermined times (although I think it was groupings of, say, 8 to 8:30 a.m., 8:30 to 9 a.m., and so on). The new 12-megapixel sensor was designed specifically for this purpose, of course: to provide more detail, which means more room for cropping and editing.

The pair, who consider themselves Apple devotees, said they drove up from Lusby, Md at 5:15 a.m. this morning and were turning the iPhone launch into a D.C. day trip. In a weird way, the iPhone’s becoming a professional-level photography tool, and the 6S seems to go a long way toward giving pros the kind of access and raw data they want.

Pictures are still incredibly color-accurate, occasionally to a fault—Apple wants you to see the world exactly as dark as it is, even if that means you can’t see anything in your photo. Turns out that he was with the guys up front and all of them would take turns going to his apartment (“for food or whatever”), which was only a mile away.

We’ve only just begun testing the new iPhone (there’s a club for people who get early access, and we ain’t in it!), but if you’re considering getting in line or hopping onto Apple.com today, take a look at the photos above first. As the time to let the first customers into the Apple Store approached (8 a.m. sharp), Apple employees inside the store and outside engaged in a little call-and-response cheering. This had the desired effect and soon everyone was cheering as the first group of customers ran through, reached the glass doors and then mounted the Apple Store’s tricky circular glass stairs case (good luck running down that thing).

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